Friday, March 27, 2009

The Day I Left the Womb

First things first, yes, I like to use song titles as my post titles. The Day I Left the Womb is an Escape the Fate song. Naturally the song's meaning has nothing to do with the post's topic, but I like to be random at such an hour as this.

So, lately I've been reading this awesome book called Sophie's World. It's about the history of philosophy. Consequently, I've fallen in love with wisdom. (fun fact: philosophy means "love of wisdom")

One question in particular has really been haunting my lately. Do you believe in fate? The two obvious responses are yes and no, but what do these answers imply.

If you answer yes, I believe in fate! What does that mean exactly? Does belief in fate mean that you believe your entire future is written in "stone" somewhere? Is your life a series of inevitable causes and effects, actions and reactions, decisions and consequences? I don't like this idea... I have control over my life! right??? I can decide to be nice to people I meet rather than lie and deceive them, doesn't that mean I have control over my future? Or does "Fate" already know how I will act because my conscience is like a computer program, programed to discern between right and wrong in a certain way. I can't believe that either, people learn right and wrong, they aren't born with that knowledge. We are, however, born with the ability to reason. It's what separates us from other animals... (or so believed Aristotle)

So I guess I don't believe in fate... But, what does that mean? I can control my life with the decisions I make, right? This isn't true, and I know it. Things happen. You're own actions aren't the only influences on the course of your life. Things out of our control--nature, the economy, life and death-- can change the course of our life drastically. So what dictates the things out of our control? other people? (perhaps in the economy instance) but what about nature? life and death? those are clearly out of our complete control. So is it fate that governs all? once again, I say no...

What do you say???

p.s. I could go on to what I think "governs all" but, that's another discussion for another time...


Tay Darramont said...

You know what's weird? I was having a discussion about this exact topic in chemistry class this morning.

Anyhow. I don't think we have a predetermined fate. Free will is a defining characteristic of humanity, like you said. We make hundreds of conscious decisions every day.

For example, let's say you have a choice between a cookie or ice cream for dessert. Suppose you really love cookies. So theoretically, "fate" should cause you to pick the cookie, because that's like your "programming." But what if you decide to have the ice cream? I do that kind of thing sometimes. Where does fate figure into that? I don't think we have a predetermined destiny, because even if we have a particular leaning towards one choice, we still have the power to go the other way.

Anonymous said...

all you have to do is "escape the fate"

Gabriel Gethin said...

Isn't fate technically inescapable?